Old Diary, Travel

The Loneliest Road in America – and we’re on it

It’s called the loneliest road in America, and for good reason. And we’re on it! It’s US highway 50 through Nevada, and a little after 8 am we’ll be starting our trip across NV.

loneliest road

But first, let’s talk about yesterday!

274 miles from Grand Junction CO to Delta UT.  The start from Grand Junction into Utah is pretty much just rolly-hills. And Lots Of Them!!!


I haven’t been asking Peg to get behind the wheel up until now, but the lack of traffic was a good enough reason for her to give RV Driving a shot.  She learned that her right leg is going to get a lot more work!!!  But on a windy day she did a great job.

This shot is a panoramic view through Journey’s window — thanks to Photosynth.


The major reason for letting her drive along this stretch of road is the great road and absence of traffic.


Getting into Utah, the scenery changes significantly.


Not only in terms of landforms, but also in terms of coloration.





Most of the way to Delta we finally got onto US50 and you can begin to see why it’s called the Loneliest Road in America.


This is our overnight stop at Antelope Valley RV Park.  It’s pretty open, and in actuality it’s a membership park that also accepts transients like us!  We were the first in for the night so we copped a pull-through site.


The next two days are going to be fun.  I’m not sure if we’ll have access to the InterWebs tomorrow, so if you don’t hear from us, it’s no big deal.  I think we’ll be boondocking at Hickison Petroglyphs, but that’s up for grabs, and dependent partly on the forecast low when we get there.

Hickison Petroglpyh



I am a bit behind on comment responses, I’ll get to you as soon as I can.


Old Diary

Colorado National Monument

WoW is all I can say… of course if I really mean that there won’t be much of a blog post today!

Seriously though… we went to the Colorado National Monument and had a terrific time. The Colorado National Monument high country rises about 2000 feet above the Grand Valley of the Colorado River.  There is a 23 mile auto route taking you through a small portion of the property and a great many trails allow you to explore the ‘hinterlands’ as it were.  I’m tired after the day so I’ll just post a few images;.  More will come at a later date.

Current Conditions
Our Location Grand Junction, CO
Junction West RV Park
MAX Temp 79
Sunny Yes
Rain No
Fog No

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow!

Old Diary

Whatzis Revisited


We have an answer!

I was standing at the registration desk at the RV park having finished registering.  At the counter was a young couple who live at the RV park semi-permanently.  He’s a truck driver for a local dairy and has lived in the area for 23 years.  When did he learn what these things are?  About 2 months.


Imagine wildlife (deer & elk) that have managed to get over the right of way fence and are getting desperate to get back to their free terrain.

So, it’s a deer escape ramp.  I’m not sure why there’s a railing going up the dirt ramp.  And I don’t know how many of them have ever been used by a deer to regain their freedom.  Hopefully some deer have NOT panicked and collided with a car or truck; but I have no information on that account.

Problem solved.

Old Diary

Indecision is Fun

Self Portrait in Doorway

Self Portrait in Doorway

Experienced RV’ers know, but perhaps our read-along friends do not, that RV planning is quite a different thing than auto route planning.  We are still relative novices at the RV plan thing, but I have to say we are having a lot of fun with indecision of RV planning.  Seriously.  No sarcasm intended.

We only have 716 miles to go between now and this coming Sunday evening.  We could do it in three days easily, two days if we ‘kept our foot in it.’

We looked ahead at the temperature forecast for the locations we thought we might overnight.  They are higher in elevation than where we are now — so the low’s are projected to be in the lower 30’s and the lower 20’s.  We have been seeing seasonal change ‘warnings’ on The Weather Channel website for the places we’ll be passing through;  autumn is coming and so are the cold and wind.

We looked ahead at the wind forecasts as well.  Tomorrow and Wednesday the winds to the west of us are predicted to be 20-35 mph with gusts in some places to 50 mph.  And crosswinds — out of the South and/or North.

Journey is a relatively short wheelbase vehicle.  The reason I mention that is wheelbase has a significant impact of how much you get blown about on the highway.  The longer the wheelbase the less impact a sudden gust has upon your tendency to swerve from your steered course.

Tuesday we decided to stay put here in Grand Junction.  We didn’t need to hurry, we had planned several two night stops between Frisco and S. Lake Tahoe anyway and it was forecast to be warm here — so why not hang out.  Moab and Arches National Park are only about 80 miles from here — that would have been a nice visit but I’ve commented on that already.  Grand Junction however we haven’t seen, or explored, and we decided that Tuesday would be a day to do that.  As well as run a few errands.

For one thing I wanted to have at least one spare Fuse #8.  Our drive here was uneventful, and there’s no way the fuse could blow when it’s not installed in the fuse box.  But what could happen is that the silly little thing gets lost inside the car.  So, we went looking for a 7.5 amp fuse.  Not such an easy thing it seems.  Several places stocked them and were out of inventory.  We finally succeeded at O’Reilly Auto Parts.  It’s funny, when we lived in Milwaukee there were a few O’Reilly’s and I never patronized them until just before we moved.  I have found them to be better stocked than the Autozones or Napa stores we’ve visited lately and in the future for the kind of things I need I think I’ll try the O’Reilly’s first.

On mission two we went looking for another box of wine.  WoW!  Colorado must have a significant alcohol tax.  The same box of Peter Vella 5L wine that would cost $14.99 in Milwaukee cost $19.50 here.

We stopped at City Market for a few items.  We found 1/2 a strawberry rhubarb pie that just called our name, but otherwise we were pretty careful about our purchases.  Neither of us is a BIG dessert eater; when we BUY something for dessert it’s pretty unusual.

From there we made use of our Missouri Botanical Gardens membership and took in the delightful small botanical gardens here:  Western Colorado Botanical Garden.  It’s not a large garden and it looks like they don’t get a lot of visitors either.  There were only 4 visitors by 2 p.m.

Here are a few shots from the gardens.  It’s a little late for summer flowers but it’s still a beautiful garden.

But to get back to indecision…

All of that gets us through Tuesday… but what about Wednesday.  That’s where we’re stuck.

I think by the time 8:00 a.m. comes around (when the campground office opens) we’ll have decided to stay one more night, possibly two more nights.  Our big project for tomorrow would be taking in the Colorado National Monument in Fruita.  With 23 miles of scenic roads I think we’ll have plenty of things to see and do.  If we choose to remain two nights longer we’ll do the drive to Fernley NV in three days with possible boondock overnights rather than campgrounds…

We’ll see.

The winds are forecast to drop off significantly before Friday.

Either way, we’re having fun!  We’re seeing things we didn’t think we’d be seeing.  We’re enjoying warm days and pleasant nights (low 50’s and high 40’s) — at those temps we can put on a little electric heater and keep the interior warm enough for really good sleeping and not turn on the LP gas furnace.

We’ll let you know what we’re doing when we figure it our ourselves. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

P.S.: We decided to stay here till Friday morning and Drive-like-the-wind to Fernley NV in three days. 🙂


We went to the Western Colorado Botanical Garden.  While we didn’t see THEIR butterflies they did have a beautiful saying that I copped and added onto a stock image.

I think there’s a lot of wisdom in it.

Zebra Swallowtail

Images, Quotations

Advice from a Butterfly

Old Diary

When you DON’T want to fall off a mountain…

We woke to more than frost on our pumpkin!We’re supposed to be on the road today.  I’m not sure if we will be.

The weather is a bit iffy.  I’m not sure what we’re doing today.  The weather is a LOT better than on days I’ve done the projected trip in a truck but I had a lot more miles on my truck than I have had on Journey and there’s no need for us to get out there in wet weather when the temps are right at the freezing point.   We’ll check the weather again about 10 a.m., possibly extend our stay here by one night.  We have more than enough time to reach S. Lake Tahoe so it’s not a critical decision.

This morning I wanted to share a sign we saw at Loveland Pass.  It’s good that the highway department lets you know when there’s danger ahead.


It’s even better when they let you know that just in case you get in trouble as you fall off the mountain that there’s a safety net for you


But if you fall off the mountain and they have flipped this sign up, then you know you picked the wrong day to drive the mountain.


Old Diary

A Taste of Leadville

I thought I’d share a little more of the architecture of Leadville

If we weren’t on route to Oregon I’d be tempted to hang around town and do some ‘real’ pictures but it’s a fascinating collection of old properties: homes, businesses, community buildings.

Old Diary

Mountains are Nicer When the Sun is Shining

We’re doing a little hiking around, a little shopping, a little snooping.  I’ve been through Colorado a lot of times but we only had time to stop and dawdle once when Kathryn was about 9 or 10 yrs  old.  Every other time has been a stop over during a 2 week work vacation whose destination was someplace further West.  A lot has changed over the years.  I’ve seen a lot of those changes on quick trips through the state but this is our first time to gawk.  The rain that accompanied our arrival gave way to sunny skies and pleasantly cool temps.  Nice weather  for schlepping around.

I think we’ll take a drive tomorrow. It’s a little early for ‘fall colors’ here — and fall colors in Colorado are more yellow and orange than orange and red as we have in Wisconsin.  Some of the aspens are changing; but there’s more color to come for locals here.

We aren’t far from Breckenridge, Copper, Leadville, and a lot of other small ski and resort areas.  As you know, I’m not much for driving around to see touristy things but here you can ignore the kitsch and glitz and enjoy the trees and critters and the wonderful smell of nature.  And after all, how many pretentious restaurants can anyone stand, or how many overpriced sweatshirts can you wear — and why on earth does anyone want to walk around with some designer’s name on their xxx (insert appropriate body part here). So, it’s off to the hills to see what we can see.

Current Conditions
Our Location Frisco, CO
Heaton Bay Campground,
White River National Forest
MAX Temp 60
Sunny Yes
Rain No
Fog No

I’m sometimes surprised that other people take the time to read my blog because I’m really just journalling for myself.  But there are some things that are more or less universal about life — experiences we all have — and there is a commonality we can all share.

I commented about the fact that we prefer to stay in a place a couple days rather than zip in and zoom out the next morning.  While some RV’ers want to go to the places that they’ve seen advertised all their lives to see the things that visitors go to see, that’s not what we’re looking for.  We’ve done a lot of those things over the years; life has been good and when our daughter was still young we went and did a lot of those things.

Now we want to let the places talk to us and reveal themselves, rather than our swarming into a new place like one of a cloud of locusts to devour all the easy sights to be seen.  But places don’t reveal themselves to anyone in a hurry.  For example, I lived 80 miles from Chicago most of my life — but every trip south showed me new sights along the way. Or you go to a coffee shoppe that you’ve visited a hundred times and you see an architectural feature  that has been there all along.

We went shopping yesterday — at City Market in Dillon.  It’s a nice grocery store similar to Safeway or Pick N Save or Kroger.  At the checkout we met Harvey.  He lived in Milwaukee and went to Rufus King High School, graduated a year after I did, and he’s been a Colorado-an for 23 years after spending the first 40 years of his life in Milwaukee.  We talked about what he likes about Colorado, and places to go… (obviously there weren’t many customers in the store if we could spend more than 10 minutes at the checkout without getting Harvey into trouble!)  It’s little encounters like that which make this mobile lifestyle interesting to me. We walked up the main street of Frisco, mostly looking into store windows.  But what I liked more than window shopping was noticing the other people on the sidewalk:  those gawking, those decked out to the nines, those at the bottom of the social ladder, those who are sitting inside at restaurant tables and those who bought their breakfast and are eating it on a park bench. Those who know me face-to-face know that I’m the kind who will make a smart-aleck comment to people on the street and sometimes end up in a long conversation as a result.  Having a chance to interact with people from all over the world like that is part of the fun of RV’ing.  Seeing all the different ways that people choose to live; seeing all the different ways that critters adapt to different living conditions; seeing all the different plants that go with varied climate — all these things and more just take time to show themselves.  You can’t SEE it all overnight.  And, you have to look and listen to let these places speak…

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow!